Clean lines. All leather. Top handle and shoulder strap.
I first saw it on bloggers and fashionistas a couple years back and immediately fell in love. It was stylish and chic, yet minimalist and understated without the huge logos or branding all over. The Belt bag looked great handheld or in the crook of the arm and casually slung over the shoulder. Most of all, it looked great styled for work or weekends: I’ve seen it paired with a sheath-dress and heels for work and a denim jacket and sneakers for a more casual look. To me, the Celine Belt checked all the boxes of being a versatile and staple handbag.
How I Got The Bag
When I was first looking into getting this bag at the beginning of 2018, I was going back and forth between the mini and micro sizes. My intentions of purchasing the Belt Bag was to have a more understated bag that I could use for work when I didn’t need to carry my laptop to and from home and also on weekends or trips when I need to carry a bit extra. The mini size fit more, but the micro size looked more proportional and felt like a better everyday bag. I ended up deciding on the micro size because I felt like that size would be more practical for my lifestyle.
I had thought about purchasing the Belt Bag in Hong Kong at one of their department stores while I was on vacation toward the end of 2018, but after looking around at the second hand market (thanks to a girl friend and fellow handbag enthusiast), I found a lot of Belt Bags in excellent condition for $200-$1000 less depending on size and color. I decided to go the preloved route because of the savings and to minimize my losses if I ever decide to sell the bag in the future.
I purchased this bag preloved on Ebay through a reputable Japanese consignment store. From memory, this bag was listed in excellent condition with minor wear to the glazing on some areas of the bag and very faint corner wear. It was listed at a fair price, but there was an option to make an offer to the seller. I ended up making an offer which was accepted and the bag arrived to me around a week later. It came packaged in its Céline dust bag and matched what was reported in the listing.
Thankfully, I was lucky and did not have to pay customs. Here in the United States, anything over $800 is subject to custom fees. I usually estimate the customs to be an extra 10% on top of the cost of the item. Its hard to tell which items will incur the tax and which won’t, but definitely be aware of the policy if you are purchasing something from another country.
Review: Overview, What Fits, Modeling Shots, Wear and Tear, Final Thoughts
The dimensions of the Micro Belt Bag are 9 inches tall x 8 inches wide x 5 inches deep. The handle drop is 4 inches and the shoulder strap has a 20 inch drop.
My Belt Bag is constructed from grained calfskin which is both light-weight and durable to surface scratches, but I do believe it came in different leathers (which were all seasonal). It has a zipper pocket on the back for smaller items. The bag weighs about 1.75 lbs with nothing in it.
On the days I am carrying this bag to work, I have my agenda, flat pouch for pens, key/card holder, small hand cream, lip balm and cell phones. Everything fits nicely and the bag still has a bit of room for things I want to put on top. A small makeup pouch and sunglasses would definitely fit comfortably on top. On a regular day where I’m running errands or going out, it fits everything I need: key holder, card holder, small wallet, lip balm, car keys, and a small hand cream.
I brought my Belt Bag with me on an international trip a couple months ago and packed it quite full for the plane and when using it as my daily bag. I had my Chanel square mini, passport, portage charger, cords and charging cables, water bottle for the airport. And almost everything minus the extra cables and Chanel square mini while sightseeing.
For reference, I am 5 feet 4 inches or 162 centimeters tall and am a size US 4 for most clothing.
Wear and Tear
After using this bag for the last couple of months, I am happy to say it has held up beautifully. The leather has held up and not lost its shape or structural integrity and I haven’t gotten any scratches on the bag. I have worn it with jeans and it hasn’t gotten any color transfer, but I am definitely still cautious about this and prefer to not have it directly rubbing against anything that might transfer color onto the bag. The handle has also maintained its shape and not darkened even though I tend to hand-carry it quite a bit.
The most wear I’ve seen to the bag is on the leather tabs on the back where the strap is attached. It’s discolored and darkened, but not noticeable when worn. There are very small scratches and nicks near the clasp where the button hooks into the clasp. But I only notice it if I’m really examining the bag. The corners have the slightest darkening, but I did get it with some corner wear and it doesn’t look different to when I first received the bag. The inside lining also gets worn, but that’s just from putting things in the bag and opening and closing the flap.
I have used this bag at least twice a week for the last several months and I am really enjoying it. But there are slight changes I wish that Céline would have considered to make it more user-friendly.
This is a beautifully understated bag. I think the shape of the bag is timeless, which will help it age well. The leather is durable and has great structure. It is great to have the option to both carry it as a handbag, in the crook of the arm or a shoulder and/or crossbody bag. It definitely fits everything I need and more if I need it to.
I wish the shoulder strap was adjustable or cut shorter like the one of the mini. I also feel that a magnet clasp would make opening and closing the bag so much easier. Opening the bag requires it to be on a flat surface (or if you’re like me, one knee raised to prop the bag up) which makes getting in and out tedious at times. Also, when packed full, the bag does feel quite heavy due to the way the straps are attached to the bag. I feel the weight is not distributed evenly.
All of that into consideration, I am still quite happy with my Belt Bag. I knew this bag was going to take a little more effort getting in and out of, but the extra seconds aside, I do find it fills a hole in my bag collection and fits in my lifestyle now. I don’t typically pack it full on the days I am using it, and will switch off between my shoulder and hand carrying it when it is (to give myself a break). Also, I am very happy to own a piece of Old Céline.
I would recommend this bag if you were thinking about it already and understand that this bag will take a little more effort to open and do up. The micro size is great for every day and if you need to carry just a bit more than what you usually carry, but for a true work bag (for laptops and documents), I would suggest the mini size over the micro.
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